Average Sex

Tim Burgess and The Anytime Minutes: 100 Club

For Independent Venue Week, The Charlatans front man embarked on a tour around the UK's iconic small venues. For his London date, he came to Oxford Street's 100 Club. As any Charlatan fan will attest, they've been on a roll since 2015's 'Modern Nature' album. So, to do anything live to top that was never on the cards, was it?

Backed by members of the brilliant Average Sex (signed to Tim's O Genesis label), something magical happened this past Wednesday. Especially when Laetitia, the singer from Average Sex entered the affray. Tim and Laetitia became the post-punk Marvin and Tammi and, as a result, created a party for the ages.

'Clutching Insignificance', usually a bewitching take on the archetype Charlatans sound, became a different beast. Vocally, Laetitia is a behemoth. Her fire and 60s soul enriched the song to spark dancing both on and off stage.

Anyone who didn't fall in love with their partner or a past love all over again on 'One Last Kiss' is dead inside. On record, its a crisp take on classic Phil Spector and Brian Wilson records and with Average Sex in tow, heightened the the icons sound.

Then, just when your thinking this party has nothing left to give, they dropped a cover version Culture Club's 'Time (Clock of the Heart). The happiness oozing from the stage had an almost desperation to it. It had to escape, it had to infect the lives of others. The bleakness of the society had to be washed away.

Charlatans guitarist Mark Collins popped in for a stripped back punk version of 'North Country Boy' before the party went out with a bang on Burgess' 2003 classic 'Oh My Corazon'. After this gig, the roll the Charlatans are on is going to have to pick up the pace to surpass this.

At the time of writing this review, the news has announced the tragic death of legendary comedian Jeremy Hardy. I would like to dedicate the happiness this gig and writing about this gig to Jeremy. He has given me so many great nights out and in on Radio 4. You'll be sorely missed.